In 2025, MCC will become a “Policy Research Hub” of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research

Joint Science Conference of Germany’s federal and state governments signals permanent funding. Bundling of climate know-how from the basics to policy advice.

It is providing solution-oriented policy portfolios: the Berlin-based climate research institute MCC. | Photo: MCC


The Berlin-based climate research institute MCC (Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change), which has provided solution-oriented policy portfolios based on high-level economic and social science analyses for the last eleven years, will become part of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) at the beginning of 2025. This proposal has now been given the green light by the committee of the Joint Science Conference of Germany’s federal and state governments. A “Policy Research Hub” at the science-policy interface will be created through the prospective integration of MCC within PIK. This will enable PIK to provide bundled expertise – from interdisciplinary basic research to scientific policy advice.

MCC, founded jointly by the Stiftung Mercator foundation and PIK, began operations in September 2012. The core funding from Stiftung Mercator of 2.1 million euros per year on average, which will expire as planned at the end of 2024, will now be followed by a permanently secured future as a part of PIK. This will be facilitated by additional basic state funding for PIK within the so-called strategic special budget framework. “We are extremely pleased to receive the signal now sent by the committee of the Joint Science Conference," says MCC Director Ottmar Edenhofer, who has been the Chief Economist at PIK since 2005 and a Director there since 2018. “In the future, evidence-based orientation knowledge and relevant policy options can be provided along the entire value chain.”

Official approval by the Joint Science Conference is scheduled for autumn 2024, tied to the decisions for the following financial year. Approval of the strategic special budget would secure additional basic funding of about 3.8 million euros per year for PIK, starting in 2025. In addition to integrating MCC as a Policy Research Hub, this will also help strengthen three cutting-edge investment areas: earth system resilience in the Anthropocene, distributional issues and human wellbeing, and artificial intelligence.

PIK Director and Earth system researcher, Johan Rockström, comments that the expansion will enable the Potsdam Institute to “consistently develop its strategy to research the governance of global commons within planetary boundaries – from knowledge to impact”. Drawing on more than 30 years of experience, PIK can now “further expand its expertise through new pioneering topics and an expanded focus on the social sciences”. The integration of MCC puts PIK’s social science research on par with its natural science research in terms of quality and capacity.

Lars Grotewold, Director of the Centre for Climate Action at Stiftung Mercator, highlights: “Our common goal in founding MCC was to render findings from top-level research usable for policy advice. Ottmar Edenhofer and his team prove time and again that this is possible, and achieving permanence is a vindication of Stiftung Mercator’s strategy to support partners who develop non-partisan and evidence-based solutions to urgent societal problems.”